Passion, Purpose, and Practical Wisdom

The Re-Imagining Medicine Fellowship (ReMed), sponsored by the Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities & History of Medicine, Trinity College, and the Kenan Institute for Ethics, offers Duke pre-health students a virtual, interactive summer program exploring the intersection of medicine, virtue, and moral purpose.

View the ReMed blogs


ReMed seeks to foster the character, imagination, and practices needed to work effectively in contexts of human suffering and healing. Leaders across disciplines — history, ethics, spirituality, and expressive writing, as well as doctors and other healthcare professionals help students explore themes often absent in traditional medical education.

Fellows meet weekly on Thursday evenings in June and July. Each Fellow is paired with a medical mentor for additional engagement throughout the summer.

Fellows receive a stipend of $1000.

Please note that the ReMed Fellowship is on hiatus for the summer of 2022. The program will resume in 2023.

Lynn McKinley Grant leads a Seeing through Art session with Duke undergraduate students as part of the ReMed course.

Why Re-Imagine?

Virtually all graduates of US medical schools take some form of the Hippocratic Oath, one of the oldest covenants in history and an expression of ideal conduct for the physician. The ancients could not have imagined the complex moral landscape of medical practice today, from protecting patient privacy to responding to a global pandemic to addressing inequities based on race, class, and location.

In this Fellowship program, you are invited to imagine the ways that doctors and other healthcare professionals can use their specialized knowledge and skills with humility to care for individuals, cure and prevent disease and suffering, flourish in their chosen profession, and work toward the greater good.

This Fellowship is a program of The Purpose Project at Duke. The Purpose Project, sponsored by The Duke Endowment, makes matters of character, questions of purpose, and explorations of one’s life’s work signature features of the Duke experience.

ReMed students with parachute

The Program

ReMed will begin in mid-May with a virtual welcome event for introductions and orientation. In June-July, we will meet in the evening once a week for discussions and problem-solving activities focused on questions such as:

  • How do we move from what we can do to what we should do?
  • What does it mean in practice to “do no harm”? And how do we affirmatively “do good”?
  • What historical and sociological understandings must inform our work to ensure that healthcare is just, fair, humane and equitable?
  • How can we prepare to practice medicine with character, to develop a sense of meaning and purpose, and to contribute to society?

What skills are needed to be a “good” doctor, and where can we learn, develop, and see them in practice?

2019 fellows at hospital

As we consider these questions in the context of professional life and current events, we will focus on the broader implications of the work of healthcare professionals for society as a whole and how they contribute to a just and equitable society and human flourishing more generally. We will work to cultivate student creativity, compassion and humility. We will practice ethical reasoning in context. We will also explore civic virtues—justice, inclusion, and service—and the moral and intellectual virtues that promote contributions to the public good: autonomy, judgment, honesty, and empathy.

The Fellowship will also connect students with mentors in the health professions. When we return to campus in the fall, ReMed will conclude with a Summer in Review conversation and a final (hopefully in-person) event to celebrate completion of the program. Enthusiastic participation in all aspects of the program, May-October, is required.

Reimagine Medicine mindfulness

2021 ReMed Fellows

Past ReMed Fellows


2019 ReMed group photo
2018 ReMed group photo

Contact Information

Gair McCullough, MAT, MACP
Program Coordinator